Campground review: San Benito Thousand Trails, Paicines, CA

100_3291.JPG San Benito Thousand Trails is around 25 miles south of Hollister, CA in a quiet valley away from the sounds and lights of the city. One travels south on Hwy 25, then turns off of it to drive a road that meanders through fields and vineyards before entering the hills. If you are looking for a quiet, away-from-it-all campground, this is it.

100_3288.JPG This is a big campground with hundreds of sites and two pools. There’s a camp store and a restaurant. Just about all the sites are full hookups and there’s a fairly large 50 amp section. There are several pull through sites, some back to back. We heard a lot about the local bobcats but didn’t see any. We did see prairie dogs, quail, deer, and lots of red-headed woodpeckers. Being away from the city we enjoyed sitting out at night counting the satellites as they glided overhead. We even spotted a few shooting stars.

100_3276.JPG The electric boxes on many of the sites have big red dots on them. That means there’s no working electric at that site. Someone told me that the campground is working through those sites and fixing them. Obviously, there are more sites than there are campers but it is frustrating to see a potential and empty site only to then see the dreaded red dot. Hopefully, more and more sites will be returned to service soon.

100_3271.JPG Also, there are plenty of annual residents in the campground. The campground is pretty much flat and open, but if you look around a bit you’ll note that the residents have gyrated to the sites that offer a bit of afternoon shade. Again, this is a big campground so most everyone should be able to find a suitable spot in spite of the “red dots” and the annuals. If you don’t need 50 amps and don’t mind being a bit of a distance away from the main activity center you might want to look at the area nearer the small adult pool and adult lodge. There’s a section there with some big, shady trees and you would pretty much have the adult pool to yourself.

The staff is friendly and helpful. We were able to get Verizon 4G and satellite TV. It’s hard to believe that the coast with all it’s hustle and bustle (and Pacific beauty) is only 25 miles away over the mountain (and 60 miles away by highway). All in all, we like this place and hope to return.

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